Why I Love the Architects of Toronto
Born: 1799 (Suffolk, England)
Death: December 26 1860 (Toronto)
Biography: Thomas was an architect who came to Toronto in the latter half of his life establishing himself as a sculptor, architect and engineer in Europe. Thomas did not arrive to our city until 1843 in which he would have been in his early 40’s. Many reports credit that the booming Toronto population and the fact that there were only three practicing architects at the time, contributed to Thomas’s move to the city.
The first major work in which Thomas contributed to was the Commercial Bank on Wellington, whose façade was eventually moved to inside Brookefield Place (Allen Lambert Galleria). However, Thomas, like most of the architects in Toronto, would be better known for his churches – more specifically the stunning St. Michael’s Cathedral. Thomas built a majority of the building except the spire which would be added by the firm Gundry and Langley. The reason Thomas did not do the spire was because the project had run out of money.
Thomas would eventually go on to build St. Lawrence Hall as well as rebuild the market Henry Bowyer Lane had built after it was ravaged by fire. More recently I have mentioned Thomas because of his work on the historic Don Jail. The building was featured in my haunted Toronto Week and on a post highlighting it restoration.
Even though Thomas started his work late in Toronto, he is one of few architects on this list who has built memorable building both in Toronto and England.
Thomas Featured in Why I Love Toronto
- Commercial Bank (Former Merchant Bank in Brookfeild Place)
- Don Jail
- St. Lawrence Hall
- St. Lawrence Market (Rebuild)
- St. Michael’s Cathedral